What are the keys to the perfect hair salon consultation? Sometimes clients don’t get the hair they want… they get what they ask for.
Client consultation is key in the hair salon business as it allows hairstylists to understand their clients’ specific needs and preferences, ensuring a personalized and satisfactory experience. “Have you ever had a new client come in and say they’ve lived in your area forever and have yet to find someone that can cut their hair?” asks Wendy Bélanger, Sam Villa Ambassador, International Redken Artist and Influence.The Salon and Identity.The Experience Salon and Beauty Bar Owner @wendyabelanger. “It’s usually followed by, ‘I like volume, so I want this part here cut short’ or ‘I don’t like layers, but I want texture, but don’t use a razor, I hate the razor.’”
These clients don’t realize that they are telling their stylist how to do what they are professionally trained to do. “If we listen to them and not assert our professional opinion, we’ll be added to the list of people who ‘can’t do their hair,’” explains Bélanger who says a proper consultation is essential with EVERY visit to avoid this issue.
For the model above, the guest explained that she continually asks stylists for texture on the ends and volume through the top. And that’s exactly what she received; however, it isn’t what she ultimately wanted or needed.
After a lengthy consultation, Bélanger realized that the texture she wanted was really about movement and ease in styling as the client is active and doesn’t have the time to spend hours in front of the mirror. Ultimately, unwanted length was removed from the bottom to create the “softness” she wanted, versus the texture she asked for. Sam Villa Signature Series 7” Dry Cutting Shears were used to cut sections from side to side creating movement throughout the interior and even more texture was created by coloring her base darker to create dimension.
To figure out what a guest REALLY wants, ask questions… a lot of them, including these:
- Would you like to maintain your current look or change it? This not only clarifies the service, but it can also prevent a guest from leaving. Many people leave their stylist because they “just want a change,” not thinking that it can actually happen with their current stylist.
- What characteristics do you like about your hair? It might seem obvious, but if length is their first answer, don’t recommend a short haircut. If they like their current texture, don’t suggest a change. If they are pressed for time when styling, don’t propose a complicated look.
- What do you dislike about your hair? Doing hair is essentially problem solving. Help a guest fix a problem and they are happy and loyal. Sometimes it’s a cut to enhance or minimize volume, a styling tutorial to help them master a finish, and other times it’s as easy as suggesting a different product that addresses their hair’s needs.
- What is your regime – how often do you shampoo and how do you style your hair? Make sure their willingness and skill level will enhance any suggested looks, a beautiful cut will look horrible if they can’t style it correctly. Take the time to teach guests how to style their hair with the proper tools. If there’s no time to wrap individual sections around a curling iron, suggest a Sam Villa Pro Results Double-Waver for faster easier styling…or a 3-in-1 Blow Dry Hot Brush that can dry and smooth hair at the same time.
“Asking the proper questions will help clarify an end result quicker than trying to translate what you think a guest is saying,” says Bélanger. “It will also help keep you off the list of people who ‘can’t do hair.’” She adds.